5 Strategies to Help Small Businesses Cope with Inflation

5 Strategies to Help Small Businesses Cope with Inflation

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. They create jobs and drive innovation, however, inflation hitting a 40-year record high in June is having a significant impact on them. Prices for goods and services have been going up, while profits have been staying flat or even declining, making it increasingly difficult for small businesses to stay afloat. A recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) found that 37% of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business. The good news is that there are steps business owners can take that may help your company weather the storm. Consider using these strategies to ease the effect of inflation on your small business. With inflation on the rise, small businesses need to take steps to protect their bottom line. Discover five strategies that can help ease the effect of inflation on your small business. 

1. Cut Expenses Where Possible

Take a close look at your business and see where you can reduce costs. There may be unnecessary products or services that you are paying for that aren’t being used or alternative options that are less expensive. Consider switching to a hybrid or fully remote office model to reduce costs on office space. You can also try and negotiate better deals with suppliers by preordering materials or buying in bulk. 

2. Diversify Your Revenue Streams

Look into other avenues to generate revenue for your business. Diversifying your revenue streams helps keep your cash flow moving. When one part of your business takes a hit, another part can pick up the slack. Consider entering the ecommerce space or offering a subscription service. 

3. Automate and Streamline Processes

With climbing labor costs, one of the best ways to cut expenses is to automate as much of your everyday labor as possible. From customer service to social media, there are many software tools that can help automate tedious tasks. Automation enhances your efficiency while cutting down on mistakes, saving time for everyone involved.

4. Rework Your Pricing

Raising prices is never an ideal situation, however, it may be helpful in tackling the effect inflation is having on your business. Avoid a dramatic across-the-board price increase. Instead, analyze specific problem areas and raise prices accordingly. Transparency is key. Customers will accept a higher price on your goods or services and remain loyal customers if you are up-front with them about what’s going on. 

5. Revisit Product Offerings

To make your business more profitable, you need to focus on products and services with strong demand and healthy margins. Consider eliminating poor performing products from your portfolio so you can put more time towards goods and services that make your business money.

Inflation can be a challenge for any business, but especially small businesses. However, there are steps you can take to help mitigate the effects of inflation and maintain your profitability.

Don’t let inflation get you down. Motl Accounting can help you develop a plan to manage inflation and keep your business thriving. Contact us today for help staying ahead of the curve.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Accountant

5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Accountant

Accountants aren’t just for big companies. Hiring an accountant for your small business can provide valuable insight about your company’s financial position helping you make more informed decisions about how to grow your business.  A good accountant can be your company’s financial partner for life, so when choosing an accountant there are many factors to consider.

Know Your Needs

The first step in choosing an accountant is to identify what you want the accountant to do for you. Are you looking for someone to handle bookkeeping and financial services or help you prepare and file your taxes? Are you needing day-to-day accounting or just someone who will work for you periodically? Understanding the responsibilities and work you need help with, and how often, is an important step toward finding the right accountant.

Experience

Make sure to check their qualifications. It may be beneficial to look for a financial professional who has experience working in your industry so you can be sure the accountant has a real understanding of what your business is about. The right background will be especially beneficial for tax preparation. 

Check Fees

Ask about fees upfront as this can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Some accounting firms charge by the hour whereas others work on a monthly retainer. Determine your needs and decide on an accountant that fits into your business’s budget.
 

Accessibility

A great accountant is your financial advisor all year round, not just at tax time. They are there to support you and your business whenever needed. Find out if you will work directly with the accountant or if other employees will handle your books. It’s also important to know from who and how quickly you can expect a response to inquiries.

Business Growth

The best accountants will share ideas about processes that could be implemented to help your business succeed. Any accountant will let you know about potential issues, but a great accountant will recommend when it’s a smart time to open another location, hire an employee or purchase new equipment. Be sure the financial professional you choose will ultimately support, contribute and guide your business growth. 

The Bottom Line

Choosing an accountant is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business. After all, they can play a pivotal role in its success or failure. A good accountant will help you achieve your goals and set your business up for long-term success. By taking the time to research different accountants and asking the right questions, you can feel confident that you will make the best decision for your business.

Let’s Work Together! If you’re looking for a corporate accountant in the Chicagoland area, Motl Accounting has the expertise you need.

5 Book Balancing Tips for Small Business Owners

5 Book Balancing Tips for Small Business Owners

Are you a small business owner who struggles to keep your books balanced? Do you feel like you’re too busy juggling all the other responsibilities of managing the day-to-day operations? If so, you’re not alone. Bookkeeping can be tedious and intimidating, but with the right tips and tricks, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. We share some of our favorite bookkeeping tips for small businesses, so read on and start getting your books in order!


1. Separate Your Personal and Business Expenses

Mixing your personal accounts and business accounts is asking for trouble. Skip any confusion and create separate bank accounts. Having a dedicated business account provides a clearer picture of your business cash flow allowing you to track expenses more easily. Solely using credit cards for all business transactions is a great way to stay on top of expenses as cash payments can easily be overlooked.



2. Pay Attention to Receivables

Every business likes to get paid but managing those payments isn’t as much fun. Marking an invoice as paid when payment is received seems easy, but all too often customer payments are left to reconcile at a later date. It’s important to keep track of your transactions as they happen. Applying customer payments weekly will save you time and money – and a big headache come tax time.



3. Pay Yourself a Salary

While paying yourself may not be the first thing that comes to mind as you’re building a business, if your business earns enough money, it should be. Paying yourself a salary is an excellent way to keep your business and personal life separate and keep your books in order. Rather than having business pay your personal expenses, have them write you a check that is deposited into an account just for those payments.



4. Log Expense Receipts

The importance of keeping business receipts cannot be overstated, as they help you keep accurate records for your taxes and lend credibility to any tax reporting. Whether it’s buying dinner for a client or paying to create a new logo for your company, all purchases should have some type of receipt with them so you can keep an accurate record of all business expenses.



5. Hire a Professional

Too many small businesses struggle with the day-to-day tasks of keeping their books, and it’s a problem that can be easily avoided. Your business requires your full attention as you grow it into something amazing—outsource these tedious jobs so you have more time to focus on what really matters, making money!


As a small business owner, you have to be mindful of your accounting and finances. These tips will help make bookkeeping less daunting and ensure that your business is on the right track financially.

Hiring an Accountant vs. Using Accounting Software

Hiring an Accountant vs. Using Accounting Software

There are many different options for accounting and it can be difficult to decide which is the best for you or your business. You can hire an accountant to do your books or you can use accounting software. Each has its own pros and cons, and it helps to understand them before making a decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of hiring an accountant vs. using accounting software. Hopefully it will help you decide which option is right for you!

Hiring An Accountant

Hiring an accountant is a good option for businesses that don’t have the time or resources to do their own accounting. An accountant can help you with everything from bookkeeping to tax preparation. They will keep your books in order and make sure you are compliant with all applicable laws. Hiring an accountant also gives you someone to rely on for advice and support. A main benefit of hiring an accountant is the time it saves. You can focus on other aspects of your business and personal life instead of working on your finances for hours on end. 

However, It can also be difficult to find an experienced accountant who is knowledgeable about your specific industry. Additionally, you are limited to the services that the accountant offers. If you need help with something that the accountant does not offer, you will have to find someone else to help you.

Using Accounting Software

Using accounting software is a good option for businesses that want to do their own books but don’t have the time or resources to hire an accountant. The software gives you access to all of your financial information in one place, which makes it easier for you to keep track of what’s going on with your business and make decisions based on that information. 

However, using accounting software can be very time consuming and difficult to learn. You need to be able to understand financial statements in order to use the software effectively. If you don’t have any experience with accounting, it will take some time to learn how to use the software and understand what the statements mean. Additionally, you are responsible for entering all of your financial information into the software, which can be a time-consuming process. If you find yourself struggling with the software, it is wise to consider hiring an accountant.

In conclusion, both hiring an accountant and using accounting software have their own pros and cons. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. If you use accounting software, make sure that the software is easy to learn and use before purchasing it. This will help ensure success! 

If you hire an accountant, make sure that you hire someone who is knowledgeable about your industry and has experience working with businesses like yours. We pride ourselves at Motl Accounting on helping various types of businesses and individuals with their taxes. Whether you need accounting or payroll services, we can help. The most important factor when it comes to your finances is peace of mind and we offer that to our clients. 

Need help with your business finances or personal taxes? Contact one of our experienced professionals at our West Dundee location to get the help you need.

Benefits of Paying Taxes Quarterly

Benefits of Paying Taxes Quarterly

Many individuals are familiar with filling out W-4 forms provided by their employers to file taxes. Business owners, self employed individuals and contractors however don’t fill out traditional W-4 forms. They are professionals who might receive income without taxes taken out right away and are therefore expected to make payments quarterly. According to the IRS, you are expected to make quarterly estimated tax payments if the following apply.

  • You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
  • You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year’s tax return, or
    • 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)

Simply put, if you know you are going to owe a good amount of money, it’s beneficial to pay your estimated taxes. Here are a few reasons why.

Penalties

No one likes penalties and paying your taxes each quarter prevents that. Per the IRS if you owe over $1,000 you could be penalized for underpayment of your taxes. Knowing the exact figure could be challenging and hiring an accountant could help in estimating how much your payments should be. Your accountant should have all the right numbers and processes in place to give a figure to pay that should prevent you from underpaying your taxes.

Tax Bill

Paying your taxes quarterly let’s you avoid the potential surprise of a larger tax bill during tax season. Not paying could lead to having a large and unexpected bill at tax season. Paying your taxes quarterly can give you peace of mind knowing you aren’t likely to get an unexpected bill. This might be a task to deal with every quarter due to the nature of your business and how busy you are. If that’s the case, consider hiring an accountant who can assist you. For all you know, the cost of paying penalties could be more than what an accountant might charge to help you.

Efficiency 

Paying your estimated taxes each quarter should give a good overview of your books and less stress in managing your accounting. This is where a bookkeeper comes in handy as they can provide insights on your accounting through the year. Tax season is less of a headache when you’ve been managing your books and making quarterly payments throughout the year. 

In conclusion, the benefits to paying your estimated quarterly taxes can make life easier and provide you peace of mind. Quarterly taxes are typically due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15, for the current calendar year. Most accountants and bookkeepers are aware of these dates and should work with you to get your payments in on time as needed. 

Want to know more about how accountants and bookkeepers can help with your taxes and grow your business? Contact one of our professionals here at Motl Accounting. We assist businesses and individuals with their accounting needs and look forward to assisting you.